As I wait for yet another online date to show up I’m faced with the same thought that always crosses my mind at this point ‘what the hell am I doing?’ I’m doubting my ability to remember what he looks like, if he was even my type in the first place, what we had in common and wondering how long I should wait before I can officially leg it home and pretend he was a no show.
This is, of course, a common case of first night nerves. And it’s not a rarity – as I wait for my knight in shining armour to come and sweep me off my feet and into a world where single isn’t my middle name, I regularly feel as though I’ve dipped my feet into a freezer.
It’s not the actual date I’m scared of. After all I’ve been on enough of them to know the protocol, but it’s what I’m anticipating. What if Mr ‘knight in shining armour’ is a stone heavier than he admitted, a foot shorter, or worse – older than my dad? So you have to sympathise with me when I mentally freak out if men, who don’t quite fit my date’s description, come within 10 metres of me. My thoughts usually constitute of the following – “What? No, no - is that him? It can’t be…but…no, oh, phew…of course I didn’t think that was him,” usually repeated at least ten times before my date makes an appearance.
And depending on what kind of day I’ve had I’m either hoping beyond hope that this is him, the one I’ve been waiting for - the man of my dreams, or that he’s just Mr. Flash in the Pan, so I can make a quick escape and get home in time for Grey’s Anatomy to start.
In the fickle world of online dating sometimes I’ve made my mind up about the date before I have even set eyes on him. And if it’s a no go, which quite regularly it is, it poses the question – why am I meeting up with him in the first place? Maybe I am just setting myself up for the possible or inevitable rejection that will follow? Or am I just dating for dating’s sake?
When you’re single you feel that if you’re not dating, then you’re just not trying. It’s the whole ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ thing – what if one of my potential no-go’s turns out to be the man I’m destined to live a long and happy life with? How can you ever tell from a dodgy photo, a few emails and some similar hobbies whether a) you’ll fancy them, b) there’ll be any sort of chemistry between you, or c) whether they’re as boring as your first primary school teacher was? So missing out on a date is not advisable – unless you’re happy being in a loveless, boring relationship??
But it probably doesn’t help that I’m picky. When I met up with a guy called Sam recently I knew that I could never date someone so tall that even my sky scraper heels didn’t make a difference. Then there was Richard, who looked great in his photos, but reminded me far too much of one of my gay friends. Homosexuality and boyfriend material just don’t go together very well. Chris was too honest, Ed lived with his parents??! And Mr 'I have a girlfriend, but forgot to mention it' – well that’s a whole other blog.
Then there are the ones that you thought went so well that you’re convinced there'll definitely be dates two and three. But your daydreams come to a grinding halt before you’ve even planned the bridesmaids’ dresses, because…wait for it….he’s just not that into you! When you like them your phone suddenly becomes the most important thing in your life and you’re willing it, to just, please, please send you any form of communication from them. So when it doesn’t come after the first hour, day or week – you could say rejection, disappointment and failure all spring to mind.
But that’s the thing with online dating, if at first you don’t succeed, you can try, try again. As long as you can stump up the cash to keep your online dating profile running then you could be dating a handful of men every week.
As for the first night nerves and rejection, I suppose it all gets easier the more dates you go on. Some say that dating can be soul destroying – but it’s just like life, it has its ups and its downs, and usually the ups are worth waiting for when they finally come around.
So I’m all up for dating, for dating’s sake – I may not find a knight in shining armour to take me to a land where couples roam and lonely chairs are forbidden, but at least I’m out there looking for someone who may just fit the bill.